has designed our new school... he is wonderful in how he involves
a variety of people in the process, and knows how to stand back
and empower groups of people to formulate their ideas... obviously
I am in love with the work he did for my school."
||ALBUQUERQUE, NEW MEXICO
As architects we are aware of the importance of the educational setting
to the overall well-being of children. Many school buildings are
housed under a single roof with one entrance and endless corridors;
they are difficult for children to understand and navigate, are
difficult to use, provide little natural light, isolate students and
teachers from the natural environment and are expensive to maintain.
Bosque School, with its environmental focus and innovative approach
to education, allowed us to take a fresh look at school design.
The school's environmental education focus is reflected in both
site planning and building designs. The buildings are located along
the edge of the Bosque to encourage student interaction with their
environment. We incorporated water harvesting strategies, wetlands
and indoor and outdoor classrooms that orient to the Bosque, to foster
an awareness of the school's riverside setting. Materials and colors
were selected so that the campus would blend into the shadows of the
Bosque when viewed from surrounding neighborhoods. We daylit, passive
solar heated and cooled all the buildings to reduce energy and resource
consumption and lower school operating expenses.
To address the school's goal for more interactive learning, we designed
the campus as a group of small buildings, closely arranged in a composition
to form a plaza, paths, courtyards and outdoor class rooms. The protected
outdoor places provide opportunities for informal meetings between
students and faculty, as well as accommodate formal school functions
and classes. Each building contains classrooms of different shapes
and volumes that students can identify with. We clustered the classrooms
around common indoor and outdoor spaces and galleries to encourage
casual student interaction and socialization. In addition, the
building's materials and systems were deliberately exposed to
function as teaching/learning tools.